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Best batch of young forwards this side of Edmonton


yave1964
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I picked the hawks to win the west because of their tremendous depth coming out of their system. A few years ago after winning the cup and being forced to gut the team they stuck around on the fringe, and now with the kids jumping in to the mix the Hawks could be a dynasty if they get real about Crawford and realize he is not the answer and trade for a real goaltender.

The list of young stud and future stud forwards here is long:

Toews and Kane, both 24.

Bollig, 25

Shaw 21

Kruger 22

Hayes 23

Ben Smith 24

Pirri 21

All these kids can play, a mix of muckers and grinders and scoring forwards that have come up from Rockford and will make this a team to be reckoned with. When you factor in Hossa, Bolland and Sharp the forward lines are ridiculously well manned.The only weakness is a second line center.

Any defense that starts with Keith, Seabrook and the unheralded but offensively talented Leddy is a force. The only weakness on this club is Crawford who is too old to be a real prospect, if they can add a veteran hungry for a cup win (Bobby Lou?) they will run away and hide from the division for years. As a Wings fan I hope Stan Bowman gives Crawford another shot because truthfully that is the only way I see anyone else from the west having a prayer this season.

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Anyone from the west? What about the Kings? With Quick behind them I think they have as good a shot as the Hawks do this season.

I'll say though, that is a pretty impressive list of young players that can play. Keeping them all for a Dynasty though might prove to be difficult with the lower cap.

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Anyone from the west? What about the Kings? With Quick behind them I think they have as good a shot as the Hawks do this season.

I'll say though, that is a pretty impressive list of young players that can play. Keeping them all for a Dynasty though might prove to be difficult with the lower cap.

Bowman actually has them set nicely for the new cap with the low priced hungry forwards.

I agree that Quick and the Kings are still champions until decrowned, but to win back to back in this day and age is almost impossible. Of course the shortened season got them rested up so it is an advantage over previous cup participants, but as a Wings fan who has no love lost for the Hawks I grudgingly admire the way the teamis built and see a cup in the next year or two if they get serious in net.

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@yave1964 I like Minnesota's kids better than Chicago's, but they are both loaded. Just think Minnesota's talent is more elite and their crop of youngsters has a better chance of being front line stars...starting with Granlund (who just might steal the number one center job away from Miko Koivu this year. Really like Charlie Cryole, Mathew Dumba (star) and Jonas Brodin.....and if either Jason Tucker or Zack Phillips work out (think they will), you have the best young talent in the league. That team is stacked.

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@yave1964 I like Minnesota's kids better than Chicago's, but they are both loaded. Just think Minnesota's talent is more elite and their crop of youngsters has a better chance of being front line stars...starting with Granlund (who just might steal the number one center job away from Miko Koivu this year. Really like Charlie Cryole, Mathew Dumba (star) and Jonas Brodin.....and if either Jason Tucker or Zack Phillips work out (think they will), you have the best young talent in the league. That team is stacked.

The Wild are loaded with a bunch of A and B prospects as well, what sets the two teams apart is veteran depth and overall been there done that. Looking at the veterans side by side:

Koivu Toews Advantage Chicago

Parise Kane Advantage Wild

Heatley Sharp Adavantage Chicago

Setaguchi Hossa Advantage Chicago

Brodziak Bolland Advantage Chicago

Clutterbuck Shaw Advantage Chicago

Defense

Suter Keith Advantage even

Gilbert Seabrook Advantage Chicago

Stoner leddy Advantage Chicago

Chicago simply has more depth everywhere IMO. This is not even including veteran players such as Oduya, Hjalmarsson, and Stalberg who again further down the depth chart the Wild cannot come close to matching.

A huge advantage for the Wild is in net, I believe Crawford is below average, putting it politely. occasionaly a great team can win with a mediocre goalie but not very often. He is 27, not even a prospect really, just a guy who was there when they needed a goalie who didnt embarrass himself too badly.Backstrom and Harding are both miles away better net minders.

I dont want to give the impression that I dont like what the wild have done, Suter and Parise along with a damn solid group of young kids on the way is going to breath life into this franchise, and while I believe they overpaid for the two of them that is what you have to do to acquire free agents, same as the Rangers with Gaborik and Richards. You overpay and hope for it to work out, sometimes it does sometimes it doesnt. I have been looking forward to seeing Granlund in the NHL and like you am drinking the koolaid, I think he will be a stud. I just dont think the Wild are there yet, another year or two and a smart offseason might make it happen. At best I see them as a fringe playoff team for this season. Sorry I went so long.

Suter

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@yave1964 I agree, the Wild are a year away, but I really think they are on the cusp of greatness. All this team ever needed was offense, and they are about to receive it....prob next season. Will be fun to see Granlund showing off his skills though, he's my pick for rookie of the year.

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Anyone from the west? What about the Kings? With Quick behind them I think they have as good a shot as the Hawks do this season.

I'll say though, that is a pretty impressive list of young players that can play. Keeping them all for a Dynasty though might prove to be difficult with the lower cap.

Lombardi has all his pieces already signed, most longterm, and at fairly reasonable caphits. Gagne and penner come off next season that's almost $7 million right there. They'll have to tweak, but it won't be like when the Hawks won and had to disassemble the team.

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I picked the hawks to win the west because of their tremendous depth coming out of their system. A few years ago after winning the cup and being forced to gut the team they stuck around on the fringe, and now with the kids jumping in to the mix the Hawks could be a dynasty if they get real about Crawford and realize he is not the answer and trade for a real goaltender.

The list of young stud and future stud forwards here is long:

Toews and Kane, both 24.

Bollig, 25

Shaw 21

Kruger 22

Hayes 23

Ben Smith 24

Pirri 21

All these kids can play, a mix of muckers and grinders and scoring forwards that have come up from Rockford and will make this a team to be reckoned with. When you factor in Hossa, Bolland and Sharp the forward lines are ridiculously well manned.The only weakness is a second line center.

Any defense that starts with Keith, Seabrook and the unheralded but offensively talented Leddy is a force. The only weakness on this club is Crawford who is too old to be a real prospect, if they can add a veteran hungry for a cup win (Bobby Lou?) they will run away and hide from the division for years. As a Wings fan I hope Stan Bowman gives Crawford another shot because truthfully that is the only way I see anyone else from the west having a prayer this season.

Flyers forwards

Giroux 25

Read 26

Simmonds 24

Voracek 23

Schenn 21

Couturier 20

2nd highest scoring team in NHL last year.

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Flyers forwards

Giroux 25

Read 26

Simmonds 24

Voracek 23

Schenn 21

Couturier 20

2nd highest scoring team in NHL last year.

I was talking about the west. I agree the Flyers are loaded with young stud forwards, (Voracek and Couturier for Carter???? What the Hell were the Jackets thinking?) but apples to apples if you look on the blue line, Keith, Seabrook, Leddy and Oduya are miles ahead of what the Flyers can throw out there... And while I feel Crawford is pathetic lets not go there with that million year contract for Bryz. Can you say amnesty buyout boys and girls? I knew you could, lol.

Let me make it clear I dont have a horse in this race, I am a Wings fan through and through, but as a hockey fan I grudgingly admire what Stan Bowman has done with this organization since they were dismantled after a Stanley Cup. I love the feedback, I agree with the Kings positioning, I like what the Wild are doing, I feel the Blues are a bit overrated, I feel they are everyones darlings after being picked to miss the playoffs last year and Halak and Elliott cannot be that good again, can they? My Wings are in transition, Nashville will be down, the Sharks are fading, The Canucks without Kesslers heart and soul are not the same team. I see nobody who can stop the Hawks except themselves if they dont add a goalie.

Good luck this year.

Edited by yave1964
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Just pointing out Philly has some good young horses...at the forward position. Our D is average, our goaltending terrible.

I'm a huge fan of Pietrangelo in St. Loo.

When the Blues traded Eric Johnson a couple of years ago to the Lanche for Shattenkirk and Stewart I thought, wow what a dumb deal but obviously Pietrangelo was ready to take the next step and has turned into a flat out stud. As a Wings fan, do you know how strange it is to know that every team in the division has a least one blue liner better than we do?? Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Keith, Seabrook, Jack johnson, Weber, (My favorite player in the game today) all better than what we have, I love Kronwall and Brendan Smith but they are a step below. Sad really.
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My wife teases me about having a man crush on Brendan Smith, I watch Grand Rapids games to keep an eye on him, offensive potential with a nasty streak, kind of a poor mans Shea Weber IMO. I think the Wings did an amazing job by letting him spend a couple of seasons down on the farm.

LETS DROP THE PUCK!!

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@yave1964 Smith has a nasty mean streak...it's one of those things that you either have or you don't....it's built on personality and disposition. I think that's one of the things that makes Seth Jones such a special prospect (among other things obviously), he likes to hit and be physical, and someone with his frame, having that kinda mindset, well, he does not get called a young Chris Pronger for nothing.

Smith is a bit smaller, 6'2 and under 200, but wow does he have snarl...he's gonna be something special. Nice offensive instincts also. He's super creative, super strong on the puck, and has a compete level that does not stop. The amazing thing is his ability to dangle and make perfect passes, a lot of them no look on the tape stuff that mindboggles (kind of what we see from Giroux). Very creataive, very dynamic....the whole package.....PLUS the work ethic. This kid is gonna compete for the Norris someday.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I picked the hawks to win the west because of their tremendous depth coming out of their system. A few years ago after winning the cup and being forced to gut the team they stuck around on the fringe, and now with the kids jumping in to the mix the Hawks could be a dynasty if they get real about Crawford and realize he is not the answer and trade for a real goaltender.

The list of young stud and future stud forwards here is long:

Toews and Kane, both 24.

Bollig, 25

Shaw 21

Kruger 22

Hayes 23

Ben Smith 24

Pirri 21

All these kids can play, a mix of muckers and grinders and scoring forwards that have come up from Rockford and will make this a team to be reckoned with. When you factor in Hossa, Bolland and Sharp the forward lines are ridiculously well manned.The only weakness is a second line center.

Any defense that starts with Keith, Seabrook and the unheralded but offensively talented Leddy is a force. The only weakness on this club is Crawford who is too old to be a real prospect, if they can add a veteran hungry for a cup win (Bobby Lou?) they will run away and hide from the division for years. As a Wings fan I hope Stan Bowman gives Crawford another shot because truthfully that is the only way I see anyone else from the west having a prayer this season.

The first 12 games - 0 loses in regulation. You might be on to something....

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